On Wednesday, China in a bilateral meeting held in Beijing, reiterated its commitment to refinance and ensure the timely completion of the pivotal Nigerian Abuja-Kano and Port Harcourt-Maiduguri rail projects.
Vice President Kashim Shettima, representing Nigeria’s President Bola Tinubu, was welcomed by President Xi Jinping. Their meeting resulted in China’s favorable response to the requests laid forth by the Nigerian administration.
Stanley Nkwocha, the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Communications to the Vice President, conveyed this positive outcome through a press release titled, “At 3rd Belt and Road Initiative Forum: China commits to refinancing, completing the Abuja-Kano, Port-Harcourt-Maiduguri railways.”
While China and Nigeria have previously agreed on the projects, fiscal constraints, and previous obligations have deterred China from releasing the necessary funds. China’s commitment involves funding 85% of these railway projects, with Nigeria covering the remaining 15%.
How the rail project will impact Nigerians
During their meeting at China’s People’s Building, President Xi Jinping promised to enhance China’s investments in Nigeria, notably in the power and digital sectors. Furthermore, Jinping expressed concerns about the safety of Chinese workers in Nigeria and emphasized strengthening the bilateral ties between the two nations.
President Xi commended Nigeria for endorsing the one-China policy and showed keen interest in supporting Nigeria’s ‘Renewed Hope Manifesto’ and President Tinubu’s economic plans. Aiding Nigeria’s exports, like peanuts, and promoting the China-Africa talent initiative were also on the agenda.
In matters of security, President Xi highlighted China’s determination to fight terrorism and maintain peace, especially in the Sahel region. Both nations’ long-standing military training and mutual agreements also garnered attention.
Quoting President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s words from the recent United Nations General Assembly, Jinping stated, “Africa holds the key to the world. Nigeria, with its tremendous potential, is pivotal in international relations.”
The Vice President of Nigeria, representing President Tinubu, emphasized that the Nigerian rail projects are essential for Nigeria’s growth. The nation’s vision is to foster a robust partnership with China, built on cooperation and devoid of political interference
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